Powertrio, Overdose and Cabaret, comics about sex, drugs and rock'n roll, were originally self-pulished in Brazil, each in a different single color. Later, they published Encore, to tie things up, I think. I haven't read it yet, but it's been very well received by the public and critics.
The authors, Rafael Albuquerque, Mateus Santolouco and Eduardo Medeiros have worked for Marvel and DC, but they missed making their own comics, in their own country (I vaguely remember them saying something like that in an interview).
Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá released a new self-published comic book called Atelier. It's small, it's cheap, it's meant to show their work worldwide. But, according to a review by Sidney Gusman from Universo HQ, it doesn't work quite well.
The book has texts in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English that claim that "It isn't a catalog nor a sketchbook. It's a door to our world." But it seems that they put their storytelling skills aside to make something that resembles a lot a sketchbook. A very pretty one, but that's it.
"Welcome to Aranim Media Factory. Aranim™ is a new cultural phenomenon in the middle east – providing tens of millions of Arab youth the chance to enjoy comics, manga, animation, games and films inspired by middle eastern mythologies."
Aranim comics seem to be quite a hit. For example, Hawker Hunter was published in 2007 along with Jordan's biggest newspaper and became Middle East's best selling comic book.
But Jordan has no comics tradition, so they had to import artists from all over the world, most of them Brazilian*. Ten of the eleven titles shown in their website* were written by Marcelo Cassaro, the other one, by Petra Leão. Eight were drawn by Edu Francisco and one by Gislene Maymi.
However, none of these titles credit the authors. "None of us made a point of it. Since I wasn't very familiar with the Arab culture and I didn't have much control over the final work, I prefered not to sign", Cassaro explains.
I usually don't like action comics or movies, but, like Luc Besson or Jackie Chan, this one blew my mind!
An American special agent is on a secret mission to save a bank manager who's been kidnapped by drugdealers. Lots of well-made action and funny jokes, specially when playing with a stereotyped vision of Brazil.
It's been nominated to the 2008 HQMix Award in Best Webcomic.
It's been published by Ronin Studios, and it can be downloaded here (or maybe here, or here).
Too bad there hasn't been a sencond issue to this day. =/
Las Cántigas de Santa Maria is a Galician-Portuguese religious chansonnier of the 13th century made of 424 songs composed in honor of the Virgin Mary. But, besides being one of our literary and artistic jewels, the editor, critic and researcher Breixo Arguinde has spent years working on the thesis that this medieval work is a clear predecessor of comics.
But, beyond the fact of the existence of illuminated capital letters and the usual miniatures in the medieval codexes, Harguinde reveals us that many of the illustrated pages that accompany the songs are structured in panels distributed in two columns. On the other hand, each panel represents a concrete moment in the action and together they compose complete narratives with supportive explicational texts; definitely, a comic.
The research, revealed to the public in an exhibition in the last Salón do Comic de Cangas, focuses also in the advanced narrative techniques used, like the representation of two distinct moments in the same scene or the splitting of the panel. Las Cántigas de Santa Maria are the first case of sequential narrative in the Iberian Peninsula.
Overall, Brazil doesn't really have a strong comics industry. We're going through a particularly good moment, but it's still weak, when compared to many other countries.
But there's an exception: Mauricio de Sousa's Monica's Gang. It's a whole universe of comics for kids that totally kicks Disney's ass!
Created in 1959, Monica's Gang comics are published in 14 languages and 40 countries!
In 2007, they moved to a new publishing company, Panini, and that brought them even more growth. They're publishing collections of old stuff and comics in English and Spanish for Brazilian language students and developing comics for teenagers.
Recently, they've published MSP50 and MSP+50, with a hundred Brazilian artists paying homage to Mauricio de Sousa!
Well, if wanna know these comics, click here for the website in English (it even has a version of Romeo and Juliet) or here for the Italian version (more recent).
But it's full of symbolism. It's a reference to the 1928 Anthropophagous Manifesto. According to Wikipedia:
"Its argument is that Brazil's history of 'cannibalizing' other cultures is its greatest strength, while playing on the modernists' primitivist interest in cannibalism as an alleged tribal rite. Cannibalism becomes a way for Brazil to assert itself against European post-colonial cultural domination. The Manifesto's iconic line is 'Tupi or not Tupi: that is the question.' The line is simultaneously a celebration of the Tupi, who practiced certain forms of ritual cannibalism (as detailed in the 16th century writings of André Thévet, Hans Staden, and Jean de Léry), and a metaphorical instance of cannibalism: it eats Shakespeare."
Here you can find the complete Manifesto in English.
Among other names that I can't remember, I also thought of Palmtrees, a reference to the Quilombo of Palmares, but I liked Anthropophagous better.
Case you don't know Holy Avenger, it's an RPG inspired adventure series, drawn manga style, by Marcelo Cassaro, Erica Awano and a few others. Published from 1999 to 2003, it has won a couple HQ Mix and Ângelo Agostini Awards.
If you liked Cassaro's Victory*, then you might like HA. If you didn't like Victory, it's ok, I didn't like it either, and I think HA rocks.
Anyway, this series was being scanlated by Enxame, so go to their forum for older issues. Now it's a coop between us and them. =)
Yesterday I spent many hours looking for forums where I could post and projects similar to mine. I got to two conclusions:
1 - Those forums are all the same. Some focus on manga, some on American comics. Some go only as far as to have three sections: DC, Marvel and others. Most are somewhat messy, some are unbearably messy.
I mean, I'm thankful to them, but they just copy each other, they lack a delineated intention.
Maybe I'm being too hard on them... they're fun, anyway.
2 - I couldn't find any projects similar to mine. The best I could find was a site of Indian comics in Hindi and a collection of French comics scanlations (not bad, actually). I mean, I went through five Russian websites and all I found was American comics in Russian!